In August, China's National Audit Office embarked on a comprehensive attempt to determine how much money is owed by the country's local governments as the result of a massive borrowing binge that began in 2008. While no official report has been released, it appears that the figure may be twice as big as it was thought to be just two years ago - 19 trillion yuan, or US$3.1 trillion, more than a third of the country's annual gross domestic product.

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